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Slide work causes Allegiant to cancel, reschedule some flights

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Sep. 23, 2013, at 5:32 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013, at 6:39 a.m.

Allegiant Air canceled 12 more flights on Monday, including two in its Wichita market, as it continues to overhaul emergency slides on its MD80 aircraft.

In Wichita, it canceled Flight 143 to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport and moved it to Tuesday. It also moved Monday’s Flight 142 from Phoenix-Mesa to Wichita to Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Allegiant canceled flights Monday into and out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. Those flights will also be made up on Tuesday.

Allegiant announced last week that it had discovered a compliance issue requiring immediate inspection and overhaul of many emergency exit slides in its MD80 fleet following the emergency evacuation of a Sept. 16 flight at McCarran. The company said it learned after that incident that maintenance on the slide had not complied with a manufacturer’s recommendation, updated in 2007, to overhaul slide assemblies every year. Allegiant said it had been servicing the slides on a three-year schedule, as initially recommended.

The company has begun the inspections and expects to complete the process by the end of September, the company said. MD80 aircraft will be placed back in service as soon as possible.

The airline operates flights from Wichita to Phoenix-Mesa on Mondays through Fridays and flights to Las Vegas on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Allegiant has been contacting passengers on the affected flights.

The airline is also offering vouchers for future travel to those who are affected. For example, passengers will receive a $100 voucher for flights delayed less than four hours and a $200 voucher for flights delayed six or more hours. For those with rescheduled flights, passengers will receive a full refund and a $200 voucher for future travel.

The company urges customers to sign up for flight alerts for individual flights at https://www2.allegiantair.com/flight-status. They may also call 702-505-8888.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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